Former Professional Programme student Matthew Topliss (Northern Ballet Academy 2005 – 09) and now in his third year with the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, is currently working with Scottish Ballet as part of the cast for Ashley Page's production of Sleeping Beauty. He will be performing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle. Viki caught up with him during a short break between rehearsals.
'I've been here since November, it's going really well, the company are so supportive and welcoming. I have a season contract which is just what I wanted, the experience is fantastic – just watching everyone else is amazing and they seem pretty happy with me. I'm one of the Uncles, an Elfin Prince and part of 'The Ballet' dancing alongside members of the Company. The kids will love Ashley's Beauty as it's full of fairytale characters, but there is also a lot of suspense throughout the show. I'm hoping that this will be my audition for the company, but I also really want to audition for Northern Ballet as I love the work David Nixon does and I have such close connections.
'Training at the Conservatoire was similar to my training with the Academy in many ways. Yoko encouraged us all to be thinking dancers, to consider the whole picture. Likewise at the Conservatoire you are treated as individuals not as machines, (we are not all the same) and the training is very intense. It's been a great preparation to work with teachers at the school only recently retired from Scottish Ballet who know the standard expected and the style of the Company. When I finish at the end of February I'll go back to prepare for our graduation performance, but I hope to come to Leeds and visit and take class at Easter.'
So all of you with any questions for Matt – about his training here, life as a Company dancer, the training at the Conservatoire – come on down at Easter. We are very proud to have set the lovely Matt up for stardom.